EPA Prepares a Plan to Cleanup Pesticide Contamination in Manati, PR

In Manati, Puerto Rico, a legacy of pollution has an end in sight.  On October 1, 2015 the EPA proposed a plan of action to address the detrimental community impacts from the Pesticide Warehouse III Superfund Site. For years, pesticides and dioxins from the former pesticide facility have been contaminating the soil and groundwater of this Puerto Rican municipality, one of PROTECT’s participant recruitment areas. After a fire in 2003, a drainage ditch near the main warehouse that connects to a natural depression began collecting rain water and has led to groundwater contamination.

To address these concerns, the EPA met openly with the public in August to gather community feedback for 30 days before finalizing their strategy.  According to the EPA, the most highly contaminated soil (more than 8,800 cubic yards) will be removed and treated, and the remaining area will be filled with clean soil and re-seeded.  The areas where soil is contaminated to a depth greater than 10 feet will be covered to reduce exposure risks. Follow-up will be conducted to ensure the safety and efficacy of the process, while the groundwater contamination will continue to be studied.

For more information visit the EPA’s newsroom.